California, Oregon and Washington are among the states moving forward with regulations and road maps for the construction and operation of building- and district-scale graywater capture and treatment systems for non-potable-water use, such as toilet flushing and irrigation. But similar rules for construction and operation of on-site potable-water systems are not yet on the regulatory officials’ radar screens. Without codes, the permitting of an on-site potable-water system becomes an approvals nightmare, say sustainability experts.
Regulatory and health-concern issues related to water quality mean it could take at least 25 years for on-site potable-water systems to become the norm, said Paula Kehoe, director of water resources for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), at the International Living Future Institute’s “Living Future” 2017 conference. The ILFI gathering, held on May 17-19 in Seattle, attracted more than 1,200 registrants.